DC Council to take up special education bills

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A D.C. Council committee is taking up a package of bills intended to improve services for special-education students.

The council's Education Committee will hold a hearing on the bills on Thursday. The committee chairman, Councilmember David Catania, introduced the bills last month, saying special education is facing a crisis in the District of Columbia. Catania is an independent candidate for mayor and has made education the top priority of his campaign.

Catania says the achievement gap between special-education students and general-education students has been growing since 2007 and that students need more services to succeed.

Among other things, the legislation would establish the procedural safeguards that exist for parents in jurisdictions with more effective special education programs.

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